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CBA: Yi's Guangdong loses to Shenzhen after shoe row


11-03-2016 10:42 BJT

In basketball, all eyes were on Yi Jianlian as the Guangdong Southern Tigers visited the Shenzhen Leopards on Wednesday night. The 29-year-old was making his debut this season after being released by the Los Angeles Lakers last month. Guangdong, who suffered their opening loss against Shanxi last week, were happy to welcome back the top domestic player, who also had a strong message for the offficial shoe sponsor of the CBA, Lining.

Guangdong got off to a good start with Yi, wearing the league-sponsored shoes, making some space in the corner before connecting on the long jumper and Guangdong would lead 31-22 after the first quarter.

But as the second starts, Yi decides he had had enough and bends down to remove his shoes and toss them to the court. He then went to the bench in his socks to protest wearing the Lining shoes. Shortly after, he returned wearing his own shoes, but the referee told him no and sent him back off the court for not wearing the designated league brand.

Guangdong lost their control of the game after that. Shenzhen, helped by their foreign import Jeremy Pargo, narrows the gap and levels the score after the first half.

With five minutes left in the third quarter, fans cheered as Yi came back to the game, curiously now allowed to wear his own shoes. Guangdong found their rhythm again and retake the lead. They finished the quarter up 81-73.

But Shenzhen fight back strong and are still one point behind with one minute left. Pargo steps up for the Leopards and scored a crucial lay-up as they secured the victory 89-88 in the end.

Elsewhere, Stephon Marbury scored 36 as Beijing edged Qingdao 129-126. Lester Hudson scored 45 points and 12 rebounds as Liaoning beat Jiangsu 110-104. Guangsha smashed defending champion Sichuan and went top of the table.

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